They were interesting times. Friday saw temperatures above 50F in Marquette(!) but all that warm, wet snow froze overnight. Skate skiers had it easy; classic skiers had a waxing nightmare. What seemed to work as temperatures climbed from the high 20's into the 30's was klister, maybe covered by a little hard wax. Miss the kick wax and you were in for quite a bit of pain: the first 30K had many big, long uphills.
Classic skiers had better kick in the last few kilometers - if you count using rocks, mud, a dirty snow for kick. The entrance into Marquette has frequently had iffy snow and this year's race was no exception.
Here's some highlights of the race, showing high-placed finishes by skiers racing for Michigan Cup points:
51Km Classic (219 skiers)
In the women's race, Kim Rudd from Team Rossignol won the race in 3:07:57. A couple Michigan Cup skiers were not far behind: Julie Houle (Team NordicSkiRacer.com) took fifth in 3:22:00, followed by Daniela Gebhart (Straits Striders) in 6th with a time of 3:25:05.
Chad Gieses won the men's classic in 2:22:08. The first Michigan Cup racer to finish was Team NordicSkiRacer Joe Bettendorf in ninth in 2:35:44, followed by Andy Tribold of the Cross Country Ski Shop in 12th place in 2:42:30. Denny Paul (Straits Striders) and Hugh Pritchard (Team NordicSkiRacer) weren't far behind, finishing 14th and 16, respectively.
51Km Freestyle (444 skiers)
Steve Kuhl (Team NordicSkiRacer.com) was the first Michigan Cup finisher in the 51km Men's Freestyle, with a time of 2:23:38 for 7th overall. (Matt Weier from the Atomic factory team finished first in 2:11:18). Steve Smiegel (Grand Rapids Nordic) was the next fastest Michigan Cupper, finishing 21st overall with a time of 2:30:10.
Diane Trembly won the womens' 51Km Freestyle in 2:33:59. First Michigan Cupper to finish was Traverse Nordic skier Amy Powell in 12th place in 3:00:03. Louise Herrick (Grand Rapids Nordic) was 52nd with a time of 3:44:24.
25km Classic (188 skiers)
Marquette local Dan Dehlin won the 25km Men's Classic in 1:07:43. George Peuhl (Grand Rapids Nordic) finished 4th in 1:20:46, with Aaron Tarnow (Team NordicSkiRacer) putting together a great race for 7th overall in 1:22:09.
Kathryn Aldig was the first women's finisher in 1:22:40, beating 2nd place finisher and last year's defending champion Emily Flynn (Team NordicSkiRacer). Emily finished in 1:28:25. Amy Todd from Grand Rapids Nordic was the next Michigan Cup finisher, finishing in 1:42:25 for 10th overall. Another GRNST member, Carol Mueller-Brumbaugh, finished 19th in 1:55:31.
25km Freestyle (260 skiers)
Stephanie Howe was the top women in the 25km Freestyle, followed by Traverse Nordic member Megan Madion in 2nd place with a time of 1:11:58. Another Traverse Nordic member, Debbie Westphal, finished 3rd in 1:14:45. Tracy Goble (Straits Striders) was close behind in 5th in 1:17:43. Gussie Peterson (XC Ski Headquarters) came in 8 in 1:19, followed byStraits Strider Jean Van Dam in 12th.
Sean Beckman won the men's division in 1:02:54. Cliff Onthank (Traverse Nordic) was the top Michigan Cupper in 2nd place in 1:03:37. Matt Palomaki (Team NordicSkiRacer) was 9th in 1:05:56, followed by Jim Pryor (XS Ski Headquarters) in 16th place in 1:11:15
Complete results can be found at: http://itiming.com/searchable/index.php?results=noque_2006.